This week’s blog was written by Laura Agnew, Office Administrator at PPI-NI
At 1pm, on Saturday 3rd June, the dancing and singing started as soon as the kids walked through the doors at Queens PEC and didn’t stop until they were leaving at 5.30pm! That can only mean one thing – it was Summer Jam time again!
Over 140 participants came together for the annual tournament, which was made possible through the great fundraising efforts of our visitors from DePauw University. Once everyone settled into their teams and got warmed up, DJ Topper started the tunes and the day kicked off in true PPI-NI style with teams dancing and cheering their way to their first match of the day. Throughout the day, we had mascots, dancing referees, team cheerleaders, human pyramids, and unbelievable hustling from every team on the court including some last minute baskets with seconds left on the clock!
And of course, every single one of our coaches and volunteers took Coach Bill Fenlon’s advice and “brought the juice!” We had around 70 staff, coaches, and volunteers on the day to help everything run smoothly and keep the energy high, including students from DePauw, CRU, Google. We also had more parents than ever before! Over 30 parents come along to join in the fun with some, taking the opportunity to spectate from the third floor to get a bird’s eye view of all 6 courts, and some choosing to paint their team colours on their faces. No matter how they chose to spend their day, it was brilliant to see every single one of them there!
Unfortunately, after an amazing day at Summer Jam of respect, friendship, and sportsmanship, everyone traveled home to news of a terrorist attack in London that evening. This just highlights the importance of peacebuilding, and opening people’s eyes to diversity to help them understand, accept and respect each other. It reinforces for us the importance of the work that PeacePlayers does across the world.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone for volunteering their time on Saturday to make Summer Jam the amazing event that it was. If you were playing, supporting, officiating, coaching or just spectating – just by being there you were helping to send out a message to show what is actually possible — that together, we really can make a difference.